What could Charlotte say? It had been an exhausting day with all the waiting for graduation. The odor of being around so many people. She felt faint.
And then she saw her father. It was after it was over and people were stuffed in the hallway and trying to get themselves out of there for some place for lunch. As it was, she hardly recognized him. His hair was longer, and he was growing a beard now. Perhaps he was living off the land just as he'd dreamed of.
She didn't know what to say. He looked so thin and sad, but odd. She stood there waiting to see if he'd say anything. He didn't.
"Well?" What was she suppose to do? All her friends were hugging and taking pictures. Rosco was off with some of his buddies who were talking about sixth grade as if they were old men now.
Her Dad gave her a faint smile. She supposed this was where they hugged. Made up. It was awkward. She tried her best realising he didn't know how to act.
"I'm glad you came," she told him, but she wasn't sure she was. Now what were they suppose to do. She didn't want to be alone with him. Rosco's family had gathered around. Charlotte made introductions, and Rosco's Mom was friendly.
"Would you like to go to lunch with us?" She'd made reservation for a nice sit down dinner at one of the nearby steak houses.
Charlotte just looked at her Dad, screaming on the inside not to come, but he was. He was coming and he'd expect her to pay. She knew it. Rosco's Mom or she would have to pay his way. She hated that about him. He wasn't one to pay, anything.
So she drove him to the place where they'd celebrate. Rosco sat in the backseat. It was there in the car that her Dad told her he'd sold the house and he'd packed all he could in a backpack and was now free, so to speak. "Just me and my Harley."
"I don't suppose that's your parole officer," Charlotte found herself being cross with him.
She so wanted to be on the road herself, but not like that. Just a little vacation with Rosco. That's all she was asking, not suffering through dinner with her Dad. And yet it sank in that this might be the last time she ever saw him. She hated it to be this way, but this was her father. This was the best it would ever be.
She smiled back at him, hoping he knew it was just a joke. "You'll let me know when you join Hell's Angels, won't you?"